Nebraska EIA Contained to Single Herd

Nebraska EIA Contained to Single Herd

Additional quarantines were issued on horses associated with the initial herd, but Hughes said test results on these animals have come back negative.

Photo: Erica Larson, News Editor

Nebraska State Veterinarian Dennis Hughes, DVM, announced June 19 that the equine infectious anemia (EIA) found earlier this month in one horse herd in northwestern Cherry County has not been found in other horses that had contact with the initial herd. The herd remains under quarantine and will receive additional testing in the next few months to ensure the disease issue has been fully addressed, Hughes said.

The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) began an epidemiological investigation earlier this month after 12 cases of EIA were found in the herd. Additional quarantines were issued on horses that were associated with the initial herd, but Hughes said test results on these animals have come back negative. He believes the risk of additional horses contracting EIA is minimal.

Because there are no treatment options, 10 of the 12 EIA-positive horses were euthanized. The other two were taken to the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, for work related to EIA testing.

Hughes said horse, mule, and donkey owners should remain vigilant this summer by following biosecurity precautions to reduce the risk of infection in their herds, including:

  • Implement insect control measures;
  • Follow the "one horse-one needle" rule; and
  • Ensure additions to herds have a negative Coggins test, used to determine the presence of EIA, before being allowed to intermingle with other equine.

EIA clinical signs include fever, depression, weight loss, swelling, and anemia. Owners of horses, donkeys, or mules that exhibit these signs are urged to contact their veterinarian immediately.

Hughes said those who are importing horses into Nebraska for show, exhibition, or any other reason must follow Nebraska’s horse import regulations, which include the requirement of a negative Coggins test. Producers with questions about import regulations should contact NDA at 402/471-2351.

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